Lambda Legal Honors the Legacy of Frank Kameny, LGBT Rights Pioneer

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October 12, 2011

(New York, October 12, 2011)—Frank Kameny, Harvard-trained astronomer, Army veteran, and lifelong advocate for LGBT equality, died yesterday at 86. Fired from his federal job simply for being gay, Kameny argued what is believed to be the first civil rights claim in a U.S. court based on sexual orientation.

Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal's Executive Director, issued the following statement:

"We mourn the loss of one of the pioneers of our movement and a man who never stopped fighting for LGBT equality. When Frank Kameny first stood up for his rights in the late 1950s, he stood up for all of us, and the fight that he helped to ignite more than fifty years ago is still our fight today.

"There has been so much progress toward LGBT equality since then, it is sometimes hard to imagine the courage and vision it took to do what he did: he spoke up, organized, took to the streets and also took his challenge to the Supreme Court.

"At Lambda Legal, we know what it takes to fight discrimination in the courts, and we honor his legacy. Those of us in the LGBT rights movement owe him a great deal of gratitude and respect—and the country owes him that, as well, for insisting that we live up to our ideals as a nation."